Caribbean Beat Magazine

Caribbean Datebook (September/October 2014)

Events around the Caribbean (and further afield) in September and October — from music festivals to sports tournaments

  • Photograph by
  • Photograph courtesy World Creole Music Festival
  • Photograph courtesy Aruba Electric Festival
  • Photograph courtesy Tobago International Cycling Classic
  • Photograph courtesy Tobago Blue Food Festival

New York

Breakaway on the parkway

You live in North America, but didn’t make it back to the Caribbean for any of this year’s Carnivals? No worries: Brooklyn’s Labour Day Carnival has you covered. Held on the first Monday in September, which coincides with the United States’ Labour Day holiday (hence its name), the annual festival brings the spirit of the Caribbean to tree-lined Eastern Parkway. Events include a Kiddies’ Carnival, Dimanche Gras, and J’Ouvert, in addition to the main parade. Organised by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, and now in its forty-sixth year, the festival showcases what makes the West Indies unique, as masqueraders gyrate to the sweet sounds of pan, soca, and reggae. And in true Caribbean fashion, everyone’s welcome.

When: 1 September
Where: Eastern Parkway
For more info: visit or



Find your creole soul

Everybody knows about reggae and Jamaica’s famous son of the soil, Bob Marley — but that isn’t the only type of music the Caribbean is famous for. And in late October, you’ll have the chance to groove to the many other genres of Caribbean music at Dominica’s celebrated World Creole Music Festival. You won’t be disappointed by Elvis Crespo’s merengue rhythms, the sultry beats of reggae from Jah Cure, Midnight Groovers’ interpretation of cadence-lypso, Haitian compas from TVice, and groovy soca from T&T’s Kerwin DuBois. This three-night musical extravaganza highlights both trailblazers and the next generation determined to keep the Caribbean’s creole music alive and thriving.

When: 24 to 26 October
Where: Windsor Park Sports Stadium, Roseau
For more info: visit or



Electric Festival
When: 3 to 7 September
Where: venues around Oranjestad
What: For five days, Aruba becomes the home of all types of electronic music, from techno and trance to house and dance-pop, as twenty-three DJs take you on a joyride
For more info: visit or follow @electric_fest on Twitter


Puerto Rico

Take two and tango

With its cobblestone streets, historical buildings, and mix of Spanish and American culture, Old San Juan is the perfect place to host the Puerto Rico Tango Festival, a five-day celebration of the sultry dance form. You get the opportunity to observe and learn from masters of the tango — like Adrian Veredice and his partner Alejandra Hobert, and Carlos Barrionuevo and his partner Mayte Valdes — as they dance to music mixed by DJs Avik Basu, Varo Biagi, Burak Ozkosem, Angel Montero, and Tai Maria. The line-up includes workshops, social dance events, Argentine tango dance shows, and live music performances: a recipe for hot nights and romantic days.

When: 22 to 26 October
Where: venues around Old San Juan
For more info: visit or



Bonaire Regatta International Sailing Festival
When: 5 to 11 October
Where: Kralendijk
What: Sailors in numerous classes — everything from sailboats to beach cats, including windsurfing and local fishing boats — test their skills in Bonaire’s warm, clear waters
For more info: visit


Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival
When: 16 to 30 September
Where: venues around T&T
What: The 2014 festival will screen 140 films from thirty-four countries, competing for over TT$100,000 in prizes. With a mix of screenings, workshops, and community events, ttff continues to keep the spotlight on what’s fresh in Caribbean film
For more info: visit



Taste the blue

The humble dasheen — the root vegetable known in other parts of the world as taro — is centre stage at Tobago’s Blue Food Festival, now in its sixteenth year. Dasheen — known as “blue food” due to its change in colour when boiled — is presented in dozens of forms, from gourmet preparations to twists on old classics. Competitors in previous years have presented this starchy tuber as pizza, biscuits, currant rolls, fritters, ice cream, wine, punches, and much more. Cooks will be vying with each other for the right to say they have the best overall dish, most innovative dasheen dish, best dessert, best beverage, best baked dasheen dish, and best table display — at least until next year.

When: 19 October
Where: Bloody Bay, Tobago
For more info: call the Division of Tourism and Transportation of the Tobago House of Assembly at +868 639 2125/4636


Tobago International Cycling Classic
When: 29 September to 5 October
Where: venues throughout Tobago
What: This annual racing classic has room for pros, amateurs, men, women, children, competitive and recreational cycling — plus an International Mountain Biking Race, making good use of Tobago’s nature trails
For more info: visit